Perhaps one of the most notable contestants for the 2016 primaries is Donald Trump. Taking what appears to be an extreme stance on just about every issue, Trump has stolen the spotlight from all other primary hopefuls. How most renown issue to date, however, is immigration. Many believe that Donald Trump’s views on immigration are threatening to damage the Republican Party’s chance of ever earning the support of minority voters. He believes in incredibly tighter border controls, extreme measures against illegal immigrants already in the country, and ending birthright citizenship. Trump states that these measures are necessary because “We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. That must change.” Trump’s public comments regarding immigrants are what have gained him the most notoriety, with statements that just about all illegal immigrants are murderers or rapists at the forefront of the public’s mind.
Trump’s Southern Border Wall
One of the larger projects in Trump’s immigration reform plan is the construction of a wall across the southern border of the United States. His reform plan states, “A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.” While many have opposed this plan for its costliness, Trump has a solution to that as well: “Make Mexico pay for the wall.” Trump claims that Mexico owes the United States this wall in compensation for years of illegal immigrants, stating “For many years, Mexico’s leaders have been taking advantage of the United States by using illegal immigration to export the crime and poverty in their own country (as well as in other Latin American countries).” He discusses pamphlets published by the Mexican government on how to illegally immigrate to the U.S., and that “The costs for the United States have been extraordinary,” including additional taxes, healthcare costs, housing costs, education costs, and welfare costs.
Trump asserts that, while all of this is happening, Mexico is also making money through trades with the United States and through remittances sent back to Mexico from illegal immigrants. Trump then goes on to justify his wall with tales of murders and raps committed by illegal immigrants, stating “In 2011, the Government Accountability Office found that there were a shocking 3 million arrests attached to the incarcerated alien population, including tens of thousands of violent beatings, rapes and murders.”
The cost of a southern border wall, Trump explains, is nothing compared to the hardships that illegal immigrants and the Mexican government have placed on the American people. In order to motivate the building of the wall, he suggests that America impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages, increase fees on all temporary visas issued to Mexican CEOs and diplomats, increase fees on all border crossing cards, increase fees on all NAFTA worker visas from Mexico, and increase fees at ports of entry to the United States from Mexico. If these are ineffective, he also suggests moving on to tariffs and foreign aid cuts.
Tighter Immigration Enforcements
The next item in Trump’s immigration reform plan asserts that the American people need to return to a stricter, and safer, upholding of the Constitution, stating, “The following steps will return to the American people the safety of their laws, which politicians have stolen from them” The President of the ICE Officers’ Council explained in Congressional testimony that, “Only approximately 5,000 officers and agents within ICE perform the lion’s share of ICE’s immigration mission…Compare that to the Los Angeles Police Department at approximately 10,000 officers. Approximately 5,000 officers in ICE cover 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam, and are attempting to enforce immigration law against 11 million illegal aliens already in the interior of the United States. Since 9-11, the U.S. Border Patrol has tripled in size, while ICE’s immigration enforcement arm, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), has remained at relatively the same size.” For this reason, Trump promises to Triple the number of ICE officers, and to fund this action by eliminating tax credit payments to illegal immigrants.
Trump would also like to see nationwide e-verify implemented, in order to protect American jobs from illegal immigrants.
Perhaps one of the most controversial beliefs Trump holds on immigration is his support of mass-deportation. Trump’s reform plan states, “All criminal aliens must be returned to their home countries, a process which can be aided by canceling any visas to foreign countries which will not accept their own criminals, and making it a separate and additional crime to commit an offense while here illegally.” This aspect of his immigration beliefs has gotten him the some of the most vicious outlast from other politicians, due to the sheer cost a program like that would put on the American government.
Trump also has goals of enforcing a “no catch-and-release” policy regarding illegal immigrants, will all captured immigrants who are here illegally being detained until they are deported. He believes that the best way to garner compliance with these policies on the homefront is to revoke federal grants from any city that refuses to cooperate with federal law enforcement. He wishes to tighten penalties surrounding overstaying a visa, and to implement a visa tracking system in order to make the location of these individuals more plausible.
Trump wishes to see ICE officers accompanying local police forces conducting raids of violent street gangs. He then wishes to see the revocation of many immigration-based amnesties from these individuals. Trump cites President of the ICE Officers’ Council Chris Cane, who stated, “ICE Officers and Agents are forced to apply the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Directive, not to children in schools, but to adult inmates in jails. If an illegal-alien inmate simply claims eligibility, ICE is forced to release the alien back into the community. This includes serious criminals who have committed felonies, who have assaulted officers, and who prey on children…ICE officers should be required to place detainers on every illegal alien they encounter in jails and prisons, since these aliens not only violated immigration laws, but then went on to engage in activities that led to their arrest by police; ICE officers should be required to issue Notices to Appear to all illegal aliens with criminal convictions, DUI convictions, or a gang affiliation; ICE should be working with any state or local drug or gang task force that asks for such assistance.” Trump also wishes to end birthright citizenship.
Trump on Illegal Immigration And The American Workforce
Donald Trump also wishes to see a harder crackdown on illegal immigrants in the workforce. Trump argues that these individuals are a strong contributing factor to the dropping percentages of minority Americans employed and the dropping numbers of minority Americans without an education who are able to find jobs. Trump states, “The influx of foreign workers holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high, and makes it difficult for poor and working class Americans – including immigrants themselves and their children – to earn a middle class wage.” He also wishes to see programs in place that require companies to consider and hire American workers before being allowed to outsource positions, in order to reduce unemployment and re-feed the economy.
Trump and Voter Demographics
Taking on immigration to the extent that Trump has is a risky move. While Trump’s immigration policies have gained him support from more conservative Republicans, who tend to be more active during primary voting, it has also angered one of the fastest growing voter demographics in the country. Hispanic American voters account for 54 million, and 10 percent of voters for the 2016 election. Gallup polls have found that Trump is the least popular candidate among this demographic.
Other Republicans on Trump’s Immigration Views
While Trump seems to have gained some support from more conservative Republicans regarding immigration, many of the other Republican primary hopefuls do not see eye to eye with him. Jeb Bush commented on Trumps plans, stating “”He wants everyone deported, which would tear family lives asunder,” and calling Trump’s reform approach “unconstitutional.” Bush went on to state, “It’s not conservative and it’s not realistic and it does not embrace American values.” Chris Christie has stated that he believes Trump’s plan is “overly-simplistic.” Christie stated, “The idea of, you know, building a wall, kicking everybody out, and ending birthright citizenship all sounds appealing in some respects to some folks. But I just think it’s a very complicated problem. And it needs someone who understands how to do a complicated and nuanced solution to that problem.” Many candidates feel that Trump’s lack of political experience makes him unequipped to deal with the many layers of a complex situation such as illegal immigration.
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- IMMIGRATION REFORM THAT WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN – DonaldJTrump.com
- Trump Releases Plan to Combat Illegal Immigration – The New York Times
- Taking on immigrants in US could be time-bomb for Trump – Yahoo News
- Jeb Bush jabs Donald Trump as ‘not realistic’ on immigration – CNN
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